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Americans Elect Says it Has 400,000 Delegates. Fewer than 500 Delegates Tell AE to Continue.

The privatized presidential campaign corporation called Americans Elect has made repeated public claims that it has at least “400,000 delegates” (source | source | source). However, Americans Elect has refused to release a verifiable count of delegates, and there are good reasons to believe that its claim is not true (see here and here). It appears that Americans Elect has been, to put it mildly, speaking untruths about its delegate count. If the Americans Elect corporation cannot be trusted to report accurate counts, it should not be trusted with counting the votes in its own privatized presidential nomination.

If, on the other hand, Americans Elect is accurate and it really does have at least 400,000 delegates, then the events of the past day should be disquieting at the least.

In two places — Get Satisfaction and Facebook but, oddly enough, not on its own website — Americans Elect posted messages yesterday with comments threads attached in which people could say what they think Americans Elect ought to do now. The “now” in that statement is brought on by the fact that its three presidential primary ballot deadlines have passed and not a single candidate has garnered enough votes of support to qualify for any of those ballots. According to the official Americans Elect Rules, there are no more means for presidential contenders to get on the Americans Elect ballot. Americans Elect says it will, in one day’s time, take in all these messages, think about them, come to a decision and announce its decision some time today. That’s an awfully speedy rumination period, suggesting that it’s already been chewing the cud for a spell.

If Americans Elect follows its own rules, it’s done. But what it’s looking for is an affirmation by its delegates that it ought to continue on, change the rules after the completion of ballot-access voting, and preferentially let some candidates on the ballot despite their failure under official rules. What would an affirmation look like?

If Americans Elect is telling the truth, it has more than 400,000 delegates. As of this morning, 327 different people had shared their thoughts via Get Satisfaction and 325 different comments had been left on Facebook. But many people left multiple comments on Facebook. Some of the people leaving comments are presumably not delegates. Many comments had nothing to do with Americans Elect’s question (ex. “I think somebody from AE was on Colbert… albeit a while ago…” And many of the people who left comments were telling Americans Elect it needed to just shut down or try again in 2016.

The bottom line is that fewer than 500 people have told Americans Elect it should change its rules and keep going. If Americans Elect is telling the truth and it has more than 400,000 delegates, then at most 1/800th of its delegates have told Americans Elect to change its rules and continue.

According to the Americans Elect official corporate Bylaws, any change of rules by delegates takes a majority vote of all delegates. 1/800th of all delegates is not a majority. It’s about as far from a majority as you can get. By Americans Elect’s own standard, delegates have refused to endorse changing the rules.

On the other hand, maybe 500 delegates is a majority of all delegates. Maybe Americans Elect actually has been wildly lying to the public about how many delegates it really has. If that’s the case, then there’s no way you should let its paws anywhere near an election, because that behavior would reveal an inclination toward manufacturing the numbers.

Based on its past behavior, you can expect Americans Elect to release an announcement later today declaring that it will change its own rules after it didn’t get the result it wanted, and that certain candidates will be allowed to participate but not others. You can expect Americans Elect to make reference somehow to the will of the people, as if it’s just following some grassroots surge of support.

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned since Americans Elect got started under the name Unity08 way back in 2006, it’s that the leaders of Americans Elect are going to do what they want to do no matter what We The Little People say. But when Americans Elect pushes onward later today and refers to some mandate from “the people”, you’ll know that one way or another it’s not telling the truth.

Update, 5:22 PM: Clearly, I was wrong in my prediction at the end of this article. Americans Elect has ended its process

“The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end.”

… but don’t be surprised to see them at it again next election cycle:

We are continuing the Americans Elect mission of creating more choice in our political system, giving candidates unaffiliated with the nominating process of either major party an authentic way to run for office and giving the American people a greater voice in our political process.”

14 comments to Americans Elect Says it Has 400,000 Delegates. Fewer than 500 Delegates Tell AE to Continue.

  • Joshua

    Well, I certainly don’t believe that AE has 400,000 delegates. A couple of weeks ago I totaled up the number of support clicks for all candidates and it came to less than 50,000. I doubt that 7/8 of the delegates would make it through the verification process and not bother to support click for any candidate at all.

    On the other hand, they must have over 9,000 delegates, because Ron Paul has over 9,000 support clicks.

  • There’s a reason why AECorp is relying primarily on Twitter to request this feedback from delegates. Its few tweets on this topic have been massively re-tweeted by Buddy Roemer, his campaign staff, and his ardent groupies. Thus insuring that the responses will not be a representative cross-section of delegates (in fact, you don’t even need to be a delegate to reply on GetSatisfaction or Facebook). Not surprisingly then, it seems the majority opinion among respondents seems to be some variation on ‘give the nomination to Buddy.’

    We look forward to excoriating, from here through November, whichever candidate is ethically lax enough to accept Americans Elect’s tainted nomination. Y’all hear now, Buddy?

  • Dove

    AE doesn’t seem competent or popular enough to follow through with their ill / mysterious intentions. I am more concerned with the super (spooky) PACs supporting the other 2 centrist corporatists which most people will be voting for and would love to hear more about their ethical laxitives, lack of facts, and lack of disclosures. Since Citizens United judgment, is constitutional amendment required to reign in the campaign finance situation (assuming we don’t want to wait 50 years for the supreme court to reconsider) ?

    • What Americans Elect was trying to do was to create an entirely un-transparent presidential campaign system run directly by a corporation and its board of directors. It was trying to be the next step of evolution toward wholly corporate rule. I’m glad to see that the American people saw through the sham.

      If and when Americans Elect finally grinds itself down to a stop, you can expect to see me shift my attention to other areas of unaccountability in the political system, including unlimited-contribution committees.

      • A little puzzled by your use of the past tense here, Jim. “What Americans Elect was trying to do…., etc. The reports of Americans Elect Corporation’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. It is adapting, Borg-like.

      • Dove

        Carry on, I’m sure whatever you find to say will be more interesting and helpful than anything AE accomplishes.
        I appreciate your straightforward way of investigating and reporting.

  • Jerry Thomas

    So disappointing!!!

  • Ralph

    And STILL, at 12:34am on May 18, Americans Elect’s Caucus page reads:
    “0 Days Left Until First Caucus on May 15″
    Um, dudes, shouldn’t that be, like, negative three?

    Dude, where’s my caucus?

  • anonymous AE delegate

    [written by an AE delegate on Wednesday May 16th, 2012, pasted here after the May 17th announcement]

    HOW & WHY the GENIE may be out of the bottle —————

    Also, if for reasons beyond my comprehension (or unacceptable to it!), the AE caucus page stays frozen,
    I’m beginning to brainstorm ways that AE delegates can use other means to hold “Caucus 1″ on May 22nd, and to make it connected in a grounded way to standing in front of post offices (take a digital picture and send it to a common website such as crowdmap.com), or to associating with meetup.com groups, or something else, in combination with crowdmap.com, facebook.com, meetup.com, GoogleDocument(s), other websites, blogservices, nonprofits, or even online retailers (and call centers! Imagine if we all called Lands’ End, or AT&T or Verizon, and “ordered” our first choice candidate, perhaps with a certain imaginary (or not) T-shirt or something), etc., or the AE website itself (AE can collect our caucus-data the easy way or the difficult way!)….

    AE started before “Occupy,” but given how that took off (people knew what to do: all you have to do is go to a public square and hold a sign saying ‘we are the 99%’), I wouldn’t be surprised if a simple announcement of another way to do an AE caucus took off.

    In the 1960’s (a less wired, more hierarchical time), protest leaders could “call off a march,” but these days (Internet-wired and much less hierarchical or more “blog-archical” or more wiki-spirited?), once a date is announced for a given ‘march,’ there’s no stopping it.

    I wonder if posting about “people’s options” on the discussion will add an “or-else” element to the considerations of the AE decision-makers.

  • Tom

    They’re DONE, finished, over, kaput, (or as Madeleine Kahn put it in Blazing Saddles, with a little grammatical editing):
    Vhy don’t you admit it? It’s too much for you. I know. You’re going to need an army to beat him! You’re finished. Fertig! Verfallen! Verlumpt! Verblunget! Verkackt!

  • Rick

    Built on a foundation of fraud and a litany of lies, did anyone really expect any other outcome. Ackerman bought an expensive list, unless he choses to misuse the voter data purchased for the qualification process. I don’t know about other states, but they are on thin ice with the Secretary of States office here in California for posting it online. California law makes the voter files unavailable for marketing purposes with severe penalties for misuse. Anyone with information pertaining to any invaision of privacy, or unauthorized disclosure and/or sale of personal data will be doing society a great service by contacting law enforcement and election officials
    This never looked like a serious political operation, more like a Potemkin Village.

    R.F.

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